Subscribe today to the most trusted name in education.  Learn more.
Current Issue Current Issue Subscriptions About TCRecord Advanced Search   


Deciding About College: How Soon Is Soon Enough?

by Jeffrey Harding, Maggie C. Parker & Robert K. Toutkoushian

Background/Context: Prior research has stressed the importance of timing in the college choice process, especially as it relates to receiving early information and making plans and decisions. Little has been done, however, in terms of empirically demonstrating how soon students make their decisions about college and the ways in which the timing of student decisions are related to planning behaviors.

Focus of Study: This paper examines the relationships between the timing of decisions related to college attendance and outcomes such as aspirations, course-taking patterns in high school, and eventual college application. It also considers how the timing and various sources of information are related to when students make these decisions.

Research Design: This study provides secondary statistical analysis of data obtained from a statewide survey of high school seniors in New Hampshire during the spring of the 20042005 school year.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Findings suggest that the dominant model of college choice involving predisposition, search, and choice should be updated to acknowledge that predisposition may begin much earlier than the literature has typically considered. To wit, many students begin gathering information and making decisions about postsecondary education as early as elementary school. Additional resources should be dispatched to address the needs of economically disadvantaged and first-generation students who often lack the types of human, social, and financial capital needed to make the most of their early educational opportunities.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 4, 2017, p. 1-40 ID Number: 21664, Date Accessed: 10/20/2018 10:21:57 PM

Catch the latest video from AfterEd, the new video channel from the EdLab at Teachers College.
Global education news of the week in brief.; NCLB; international education; software; This episode explores ten interesting and little known facts about Social Studies.; social studies; humor; media; research; schools; Three seniors at Heritage High School talk about education and what the next President should do about it.; Debates; Heritage High School; NCLB; NYC schools; education; election; girls; interview; politics; presidential election; schools; speak out; students; testing; EdWorthy Theater starring MIT Physics Professor Professor Walter Lewin.; MIT; physics; We feature new content about the future of education. Put us on your website whether you're a student, teacher, or educational institution, we aim to create great content that will entertain and enlighten your audience.

Site License Agreement    
 Get statistics in Counter format